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Comedian donates plasma after contracting COVID-19

John Loeber is the first person to get convalescent plasma and donate it back to Lee Health. He’s sharing his journey, his battle and his blood.

“I remember telling myself that if this works, then I’m going to donate it back someday if I can,” Loeber said.

When he was thinking ‘if he can,’ he meant if he survived the coronavirus.

“I felt like I was going to die and I called loved ones and just told them where I was,” he said.

He then took to social media and invited a WINK News camera into his hospital room to deliver a special message. Loeber wanted to remind people that COVID-19 is no laughing matter.

He wants people to take it seriously. “I didn’t think I was going to make it. This was, in essence, that was kind of like my goodbye last words,” Loeber said.

For a while, the coronavirus and pneumonia were winning. So, his doctors encouraged him to try a convalescent plasma treatment. “I felt like I had no other choice; I had to try something.”

So he did, and three months later, he’s back on his feet. Now, he’s reaching another milestone in Southwest Florida’s largest health system.

“You are the first convalescent plasma receiver to donate!”

Loeber hopes that donation can save another life the way it saved his. “There is a thing called survivors guilt,” he said. “When I see that other people didn’t survive this and then I did, asking ‘why me and why not them?'”

So now, instead of asking that question, he’s giving back so that someone else’s life is saved.

“I firmly believe maybe I was the person to get this to be able to turn it into a positive,” Loeber said.

He says if you can donate, you should as well. If you feel called to, you can follow this link to donate plasma.

Reporter:Anika Henanger
Writer:Drew Hill
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